Is it true that all traveling stops after your baby is born? We don’t think it should, but be warned. You will not vacation like times before your baby. They are a whole new sense of responsibility and sometimes travel with baby can be more trouble than its worth, especially during that first couple of years. Still ready to hit the road? Take SmartMomma’s baby-in-tow travel tips to heart.
Traveling by Automobile
- Have at least two capable adults in the car, so one can drive while the other takes care of the baby.
- Try to travel at night during baby’s bedtime. For short trips, go during nap time.
- Invest in a sun shade for baby’s window. This will keep some sun out of their eyes to promote sleeping and lessen irritation.
- If nursing, try to pump a couple of bottles before you leave. Pulling over for frequent nursing stops can increase your travel time exponentially. You really should not nurse your baby while moving, as getting them out of their car seat puts them in harm’s way.
- Bring a cushioned changing pad and plenty of diapers and wipes. Many rest stop and fast food bathrooms are dirty and some even lack changing stations, so be as prepared as possible.
- Bring some games and toys to keep your baby occupied. Got a toddler or older child? A portable DVD player with headphones can be a God send.
- In the middle of potty training? Go with the Pull Ups for your road trip to prevent accidents.
Traveling By Air
- Try to keep a one-to-one ratio if possible. At least one adult for every child. If your 3-year old has to go to the bathroom and you have an infant, it is difficult to manage everybody at once, especially if your child is wary of the airplane restroom.
- Be sure to take your potty trained child to the bathroom right before you board the plane.
- Allow plenty of time before your flight by arriving at the airport early. This will give you time for diaper changes and last minute food and potty stops.
- Most airlines allow you to hold your infant until they are two years old. We recommend you go ahead and splurge on the extra seat for a walking child if at all possible. If she is in your arms, chances are, she will want to escape down the aisle. Plus, the added seat gives her some room to play, eat, and drink.
- When you are ascending and descending, be sure your child is either nursing or drinking. The swallowing gives her a chance to pop her ears to minimize pressure.
- Be sure to bring plenty of baby or toddler friendly snacks and drinks. Don’t depend on the airline to supply them.
Destination & Lodging
- Avoid taking your baby to a destination with a severe climate change and/or substantial increase in altitude. This can lead to a very fussy baby.
- Many hotels will offer port-a-cribs and condos often offer high chairs, although some charge a fee. Call your hotel and book these in advance.
- Try and plan your activities around your child’s normal nap schedule. It is helpful to keep at least some of her current routine intact.
- Look for vacation deals where kids fly free, ski free, play free, or stay free. This can cut down on a lot of the cost.
- Take a babysitter. Do you have a regular babysitter that watches your child? Many teenage girls will jump at the chance for a free vacation. We suggest you pay for her room and board and give her half a day off every day. That way you can take your little one with you, while getting some one-on-one time with your spouse.
- Can’t take the babysitter? Many resorts offer daycare, child programs, or private babysitters. Call your resort and see what they offer.
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